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A/O PropTech is the first VC to join World Economic Forum Global Innovators Community

December 14, 2020

We are honoured to be the first VC to join the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a member of its Global Innovators Community.

The World Economic Forum Global Innovators Community brings together the world’s most prominent corporates and scale-ups at the cutting edge of technological innovation.

Joining the World Economic Forum Global Innovators Community will allow us, and the companies we back,  to support policymakers, academics and business leaders in addressing major global challenges around urbanisation, affordable housing and climate risk.

Having launched in 2019 with a €250 million evergreen fund to invest in technology companies disrupting the built world, we are the most active specialist PropTech investor in Europe.

Given the huge impact that the industry has on the environment, we have focused heavily on investing in some of the most promising Climate Techcompanies that will help mitigate real estate’s environmental impact.

Our vision is to improve quality of life, accelerate sustainable living, and enable the decarbonization of the largest asset class in the world.

The diversity of investors that we have invested alongside (including sovereign wealth funds, energy and real estate investors and large corporates) demonstrates the momentum behind tackling climate-related issues in real estate at a global level.

Our portfolio companies include smart building platform Aquicore, data-driven carbon reduction specialists Vizcab, green cloud computer services Qarnot Computing and intelligent building systems platform Passive Logic, which recently raised $16m in a Series A funding.

Most recently, we are proud to have backed one of Europe’s most promising construction tech companies, 011h. Founded by some of Spain’s most successful entrepreneurs, such as Lucas Carné & Jose Manuel Villlanueva (Privalia Founders), Jose Ojeda (Lyst COO) and Alex Valls (Socialpoint CPO).

011h digitalizes the construction value chain and designs a component-based parametric building system using cross-laminated timber to industrialize and decarbonize construction.

The invitation to join the World Economic Forum Global innovators Community comes as real estate innovation – particularly around sustainability and ESG – climbs up the agenda.

The real estate industry is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions globally, emitting 30% of all global CO2 annually and consuming 40% of all global energy and raw materials.

However, it is an issue that has remained relatively under the radar, while agriculture and transportation are more commonly identified as the culprits of the climate crisis.

As a result, there has been little to no pressure from external stakeholders historically to invest in or adopt new technologies.

The work we do as a VC firm goes way beyond just investing. Our desire is to enable change and help solve some of the biggest issues faced by global cities, particularly around ESG. That’s why I am delighted to be invited by the World Economic Forum to join the Global Innovators Community, it is a validation of our continued focus and vision to back the transformation of the built world and it gives us a global canvas to bring Proptech to the fore and build global networks to advance change from within. Building a different kind of VC firm is a challenge, - being the first VC firm joining WEF as a global innovator tells us we are on the right path. Companies of the future must do well by doing good and we work tirelessly in our pursuit of this mission. ” — Gregory Dewerpe, Founder at A/O PropTech
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